NYT OP-ED: The president fights back

Matthew Vadum,

Trump Vs. Sleeper Cell Op-ed!

President Trump is absolutely right to be furious about the treacherous New York Times op-ed by a fifth-columnist in his administration trashing his leadership and portraying him as a feebleminded would-be dictator.

The essay titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” is vicious Trump-hating propaganda by a cowardly member of a sleeper cell in the White House. Nothing less. Nothing more.

This op-ed that has been dominating media coverage is a catalog of piddling complaints against a spectacularly successful Chief Executive who is easily the most conservative American president since Ronald Reagan.

It is part of what Michael Walsh some time ago termed a “rolling coup attempt” by those who refuse to accept the judgment the American people rendered on Election Day 2016. The same people who push the kooky, utterly unsubstantiated Trump-Russia electoral collusion conspiracy theory, are pushing this tripe.

The author is a traitor, if not to the country, certainly to this president who ought to be able to count on senior government officials – especially his own appointees – to help carry out his policies, not sabotage them.

Although the essay could easily have been written by almost any articulate backstabbing RINO or NeverTrumper inside the Beltway, the Times has referred to the author both as “a senior official in the Trump administration” and in an explainer as a “White House official.” There are, conceivably, thousands of individuals who could be considered senior officials in the Trump administration but there are maybe fewer than 400 individuals working in the White House.

While it is certainly the New York Times’ privilege to publish an anonymous op-ed sharply critical of a sitting president, it is highly unusual and ethically questionable. The person should never have been granted anonymity. If he or she is so contemptuous of the president, his or her job security should not be safeguarded by the Old Gray Lady. This sleazy operator should just resign and stop whining about the possibility of being fired. That’s what someone with character would do.

Is this person truly close to the levers of power or is this simply an attempt to sow more chaos and discord in an already tense, leaky White House? Perhaps the author is trying to bait the president into purging everyone around him. We have no way to ascertain if the op-ed was written by a real person in the administration or if somebody at the New York Times fabricated the whole thing.

We are forced to take the Times at its word, a dangerous proposition given the newspaper’s track record of defaming President Trump and making up stuff about Republicans in general.

The media has conspired from the very beginning against Donald Trump, long before he won the presidency after a hard-fought campaign. This op-ed drags the conspiracy down to new depths.

Let’s look at some of the most egregiously dishonest parts of the op-ed.

It begins:

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.

It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I would know. I am one of them.

The op-ed author thinks those reading the column must be stupid.

It is ridiculous for the author to claim that Trump “does not fully grasp” the fact that “many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda.”

It is abundantly clear from monitoring Trump’s Twitter feed and public statements – he is nothing if not transparent – that he is painfully aware that he is surrounded by enemies. At times he speaks of little else.

Then there is this particularly disingenuous passage:

To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.

trp_small NYT OP-ED: The president fights back Opinion

But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic

That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.

The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.

Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.

In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the “enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.

Only a fool would quibble over whether President Trump is a true conservative in his heart. Unlike Conservatism Inc. and two Bush presidents, Trump has achieved major conservative policy goals. So what if he doesn’t quote Edmund Burke or Barry Goldwater? I’ll take a functionally conservative, effective president, over a silver-tongued president who says the right things but gets nothing conservative accomplished.

Besides, the Founding Fathers were “anti-democratic,” and for good reason. Pure democracy is antithetical to small-R republicanism. And the Republican Party has traditionally been the party of high tariffs and managed trade. So President Trump is certainly in good company when he deviates from certain tenets of conservative orthodoxy.

Then there is the unseemly praise in the op-ed of the recently departed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of the most corrosive Republican figures of recent decades, which tells us all we need to know about the author’s motives. McCain’s political career consisted of habitually betraying conservatives and taking cheap shots at his rivals. He was not a class act.

McCain’s service during the Vietnam War may have been heroic, but as an elected official he was at best a frenemy of the conservative movement. The author falsely described the haughty late lawmaker who supported Islamists, voted against tax cuts and Obamacare repeal, and deliberately threw the 2008 presidential election thereby plunging America into eight long years of leftist darkness, as “a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue.”

“All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.”

If only John McCain had focused on the same goals.

And what tribalism is Trump guilty of? It’s the same old baseless leftist smear that Trump’s right-of-center policies somehow make him a white nationalist. Race-baiting garbage.

Then there’s this gem of a paragraph that contains the standard foreign policy lies pushed nowadays by the Left:

Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.

Really, this sentence could have described President Obama.

No one has been tougher on Russia than President Trump. Obama palled around with Islamist dictators like Mohamed Morsi and sent word to Putin to wait till after the next election so he could be more flexible on missile defense. In the old days, Obama would have been accused of high treason. While Obama dithered on North Korea, Trump skillfully forced Kim Jong-un into unprecedented negotiations with the United States.

Adding insult to injury, the op-ed author acknowledges Trump’s accomplishments by name – “effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more” – but refuses to acknowledge his leadership, instead giving credit to “unsung heroes in and around the White House.”

These successes have come despite “the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.”

Smart conservatives don’t obsess over process.

They care about results.

No conservative could have written the New York Times op-ed.

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